The Tribute Artist OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • VARIETY

  • HUFFPOST

  • AMNY

  • TM

Opening Night:
January 21, 2014
Closing:
March 30, 2014

Theater: 59E59 Theaters / 59 East 59th St., New York, NY, 10022

Synopsis: 

Primary Stages welcomes back their favorite farceur Charles Busch, the author of You Should Be So Lucky and Olive and the Bitter Herbs, and Broadway's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife. This new comedy features Mr. Busch himself as an out-of-work female impersonator who, when his elderly landlady dies in her sleep, takes on her identity in order to hang on to her valuable Greenwich Village townhouse. This 'perfect' scheme goes awry and leads to a wild path of twists and reversals plotted by an eccentric rogues gallery of outrageous schemers. Expect Busch's signature blend of quick-witted banter and gender-bending hijinks in this new play the master of Off-Broadway farce.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Tribute Artist

    We Have the Stars; We Want the House. Charles Busch’s ‘The Tribute Artist’ Is at 59E59 Theaters

    Ben Brantley

    February 9, 2014: It’s a moment of high emotion, the kind that often occurs in the final reel of a movie, when people come clean and get huggy, except that this is happening in real life. And Jimmy — who has been going under the name of Adriana — has turned on the kind of waterworks that wreak havoc with a guy’s mascara. Still, his best friend, Rita, feels compelled to ask: “Are you really crying? You’re not doing Meryl Streep or Margaret O’Brien, are you?” That’s a legitimate question. The line between real and reel is always fuzzy in The Tribute Artist, Charles Busch’s delightful and slyly insightful new comedy, which opened on Sunday night at 59E59 Theaters in a Primary Stages production.

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF The Tribute Artist

    Off Broadway Review: ‘The Tribute Artist’

    Marilyn Stasio

    February 9, 2014: The swarms of fans who are drawn, moth-like, to the incandescent flame that is Charles Busch will no doubt fly to “The Tribute Artist. This frantic farce unites the scribe/performer with his bff Julie Halston in a not-entirely-fanciful plot about the insane, illegal and frequently criminal measures that desperate people will stoop to, just to get their hands on a nice piece of Manhattan real estate. But unlike The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, a break-out mainstream hit for the scribe in 2000, this playful comedy is strictly for the in crowd.

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  • HUFFINGTON POST REVIEW OF The Tribute Artist

    Charles Busch's 'The Tribute Artist' With Julie Halston Debuts Off-Broadway

    Curtis M. Wong

    January 22, 2014: The complex and oft-disheartening world of New York real estate gets a fabulously comedic makeover courtesy of actor, playwright and legendary drag icon Charles Busch. The Tribute Artist, which began previews Jan. 21, stars Busch as Jimmy, an out-of-work female impersonator who heads to New York for an extended vacation after his Las Vegas act goes belly-up. After his elderly landlady Adriana dies in her sleep, Jimmy and his lesbian real estate agent pal (played by Busch's longtime collaborator and friend Julie Halston) hatch a multifarious scheme in an effort to hang onto the coveted Manhattan townhouse. Since Adriana also happened to be a fashion designer, Jimmy hopes that by donning some of her very own creations, he'll fool the deceased owner's friends and family into believing he actually is her, and collect the funds after the apartment sells.

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  • AM NEW YORK REVIEW OF The Tribute Artist

    Theater review: 'The Tribute Artist,' 2 stars

    Matt Windman

    February 10, 2014: There's a fine line between a drag queen and a tribute artist -- at least according to the character played by Charles Busch in his latest Off-Broadway comedy, which is hardly one of the prolific performer-playwright's best but will still appeal to his fans. In The Tribute Artist, Busch attempts to bridge the gap between his parodies of legendary actresses and movie genres, which usually feature him in drag, and his more middlebrow, Neil Simon-style comedies, the most successful being The Tale of the Allergist's Wife.

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  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF The Tribute Artist

    The Tribute Artist: Death and real estate take center stage in Charles Busch's newest gender-bending comedy.

    Hayley Levitt

    February 9, 2014: In the world of New York real estate, all's fair in love and falsies. I suppose that's the throughline that has connected all of Charles Busch's work as a playwright and drag— excuse me… "tribute artist." He comes to 59E59 Theaters with a new play, fittingly titled The Tribute Artist — a project that strays from his typical pop-culture sendups like Psycho Beach Party and the long-running off-off-Broadway hit Vampire Lesbians of Sodom in which his loyal followers have seen him take on a slew of leading lady roles. Teased wigs, flamboyant costumes, and Katharine Hepburn impersonations remain, but this time he straddles the competing realms of farce and reality, resulting in a hit-and-miss evening of comedy.

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